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Ronan Shenhav.

SOMO submits input for update of UN List on corporate involvement in Israeli settlements

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The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is entrusted with the mandate to create and maintain a database of all business enterprises involved in specific Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (BHR database). This mandate is based on Human Rights Council resolution 31/36(opens in new window) and follow-up resolution 53/25(opens in new window) , requiring yearly updates to be presented to the Human Rights Council. 

Joint Submission: CAF’s involvement in the expansion of Israeli Settlements

On 12 June 2024, SOMO, along with 17 other NGOs, responded to the OHCHR’s call for input to update the database. The organisations jointly submitted new information about the Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles S.A. (CAF) and its involvement in the Jerusalem Light Rail Project in Occupied and Annexed East Jerusalem.

The submission, updating the joint NGO submission sent to OHCHR in December 2022, outlines CAF’s role in the project and requests its inclusion in the database. It argues that CAF’s activities have facilitated and profited from the expansion of Israeli settlements, contributing to breaches of international law and human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The crucial role of the BHR Database

SOMO believes tools like the BHR database are crucial for promoting corporate accountability, especially in contexts where impunity prevails. The importance of Its implementation extends beyond the Palestinian context, addressing corporate misconduct globally.

We emphasise the importance of the annual updating of the BHR database, particularly in light of the ongoing Israeli military offensive in Gaza and the unprecedented settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This expansion, already significant before October 7, 2023, has only intensified since. Companies’ involvement in these activities perpetuates systemic injustices and must be urgently addressed.

SOMO is committed to supporting OHCHR’s efforts by providing crucial information about corporate activities of corporations that should be included in the database, increasing accountability for those contributing to the ongoing violations in the OPT.”

Ainzane Márquez, Researcher Strategic Litigation.

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